Dear Perry – Chapters One and Two

I’ve been doing a lot of Anti-Scientology work, as you’ll imagine if you’ve been reading my blog, and also quite active chatting with many, many ex-Scientologists.

My dear young friend Perry, who is a talented psychology student in Texas, has inspired me to tell the complete story of my life in my cult, after giving it to him in tiny dribs and drabs in text messages and on the conversation boards of various SP (Suppressive Person) sites. I also want to thank my friend Marisa, who, raised in Scientology, has been good enough to show interest in what must be the most bizarre story I’ve ever typed up.

In any case, here are the first two installments; for those who have seen the first bit before, I apologize for having to scroll down… watch for the illio that separate the two sections; it’s a card in my deck, Trump 0, the Fool, to stand for the Fool I was, and the Fool I felt writing this.

Dear Perry,

So we’ve agreed that I am to post my story as a letter to you, but I’m not sure where to start. You’ve heard bits and pieces of the story by now, in our private chats and in our posts on the various SP boards. I suppose the best place though would be to give you a good idea where I was just prior to joining the cult.

The year before, I’d graduated with a non-terminal degree in music composition, and, more to the point, had failed to secure myself a position at any doctoral program to complete my required education. I’d become estranged from my family and had recently gone through an emotionally draining breakup with a fiancé who had been a fellow student. The only constant I had in my life was a job calling bingo and singing to Alzheimer’s patients at a Wesleyan nursing home (spiritually speaking, not the best fit for this little hippie pagan girl). I’d just had a fight with my roommate and found an apartment in a different town, fifteen minutes away from my friends at the college. Worst of all, I was living twenty miles south of Toledo, Ohio. It wasn’t the end of the world, but you could see it from there.

Are you sensing a pattern here? Was I vulnerable? oh, yes. Disconnected from my traditional support systems? very much so. At a transition point in my life? Hells, yeah!

In short, prime pickin’s.

So I had graduated and had no plans, working an eight dollar an hour job – just above minimum wage, in those days. As I just said to you in a PM a few seconds ago, everyone’s broke at your age. So I spent my days doing recreational activities with the old folks, and my nights at this coffee-store/bookshop in the town where I’d gotten my now completely useless degree, then drive back to my lonely apartment I shared with a night-worker at a truckstop, only to get up and do the same thing over and over again. Not unpleasant, but definitely monotonous – and my life was going nowhere and I knew it.

I cultivated then, as I do now, a somewhat morbid sense of humor, and also a love of the bizarre. One of my weekly vices in those days was a tabloid piece of trash called the Weekly World News – think of it as a paper version of the cheap pseudo-news links you see at the bottom of your newsfeed. One of their standard features was to predict the end of the world more often than the Jehovah’s Witnesses. One day, a spirited discussion in the staff room led me to write the words: “End of the World, June 23rd, 1995” on a small yellow post-it, stuck it up on the bulletin board, suggesting that we make sure to keep that in mind for the next couple years’ activity calendars. It generated enough of a laugh that we left it up; over the course of a year and a half, it soon became covered with other reminders and schedules, eventually forgotten.

My life moved on, and I took to staying long until closing time at my coffee-shop hangout, debating the meaning of life with the flotsam of a small college town in the middle of a cornfield. After eleven, the doughnuts were free and the people were freaky; I chatted with conspiracy theorists and sipped coffee with Satanists. We were quite a crew: there was the radical atheist, Brian*; the UFO “Expert,” Stan; the creepy Old Guy, Randolph; the hippie LaVey enthusiast, Andrew; and the owner, Vivien, who was a guy who just put up with us and gave us as many refills as we wanted for fifty cents. Yes, you read that right, my young friend. Fifty fucking cents for a bottomless cup of coffee….

Anyhoo, there were others who drifted in and out of the shop, of course, and there were always good mysteries in the back – I was plumping up my prized, almost-complete Agatha Christie collection. Many was the night I would spend alternating between an old-school English Manor House whodunit and my Morgan-Greer Tarot deck; I didn’t know how to read Tarot, but would kill time by playing solitaire with the deck (yes, it’s possible, if you treat the trumps as an extra suit). I think I was reading the first time I saw Jack.

He was sitting at a table a little ways away from me with Andrew, and they were talking about the upcoming KKK rally in Toledo. It wasn’t hard to hear what Jack was saying; as I would soon learn, he didn’t just speak. Dude, this guy proclaimed everything. I mean, I know I’m a drama queen, and my best friends often have to remind me to pipe the fuck down but Jack made every statement as if he were in some kind of Strindberg play (if you haven’t read Strindberg, don’t bother, unless you enjoy getting really depressed). It was like he thought he was center stage, delivering the closing lines of a dramatic scene, with every word absolutely the most important thing ever said in the history of freaking mankind.

Physically, he wasn’t much to look at. I think I’ve called him “like Steve Buscemi, but not as handsome.” Let’s see if my words can do the lad justice, shall we? To call the boy horse-faced would be an insult to horses everywhere; his chin jutted off to one side or the other in a permanent scowl, as if the very air around him annoyed him. And, omg, his chin? Can we talk about his chin? First off, the dude’s complexion was pale, paler than me, and I’m fishbelly white in the winter, yeah? you’ve seen my B-day vid for LRon… he was whiter than that. So picture, on a chin whiter than me, these insane, patchy tufts of black beard, nowhere near a complete beard, not even in any pattern. This man had five o’clock shadow by noon, but only on about 30 percent of his face, and that in spots that made him look like some bizarre Dalmatian. Add to that this stringy black hair that he’d wear in the classic emo cut (but about a decade before anyone had heard the term), hanging down into his face, and a pair of blazing, intense, midnight-black eyes peering out from underneath those dreadful bangs (constantly flickering around the room to see who was paying attention), and you’ve almost got the complete picture. I haven’t mentioned the silver and black rings on every finger, or the tatty black leather jacket, or the black and white converse sneakers, or the six or seven refugees from the back of Spencer’s Goth jewelry collection hanging around his neck on various chains and strips of black leather, because those little details faded into the background when faced with his “vibe.”

That’s what he called it. I wouldn’t find that out until later, but it’s amazing how the language we developed comes so quickly back to me, after all these years.

To call this guy intense is an understatement; he really honestly seemed to vibrate, constantly tensed, as if bracing himself for a fight. Certainly his whole affect radiated the attitude of one who expected people to disagree with him; he loved to create disagreement, loved to argue, loved to create effect, drama, and astonishment.

Once again, I would find all of that out later. That afternoon, all I knew is that he had a damn loud voice, and that voice was broadcasting an amusing, if improbable, idea.

“I’m going to ask Kali Durga to make the sun too hot, and those racist bastards will get heatstroke under those stupid white robes of theirs,” he was saying. “She owes me a favor, anyways.” I idly wondered what control the Hindu goddess of death, if she existed, could have over the sun (it wasn’t, if I remembered my mythos right, within the Lady’s jurisdiction), and what favor this skinny fellow thought he’d done for Her that he could convince Her to harass a bunch of bigots. However, I silently agreed that it would be truly excellent if the KKK did roast in their robes. I’m not sure why I didn’t say anything to him; you know by now what an extrovert I am. But we didn’t speak that day, or for a few weeks, although I did see him in the coffee shop and around town, always declaiming very loudly to one or two companions, usually with Andrew the LaVey Satanist in tow.

On one of my days off, I was there much earlier than usual, about lunchtime, playing solitaire with my Tarot deck, and when Jack strode up to my table – Andrew wasn’t there that day.

“Do you read the Tarot?” he asked, putting the accent on the second syllable, an affectation I’ve always hated (even more, the people who insist on using both pronunciations; one for the deck, one for the system – really?). I forget which witty comeback I used, but I do remember that he riposted it rather cleverly, and we fell easily into conversation. He was intelligent, sharp, and well-read, with provocative ideas and an oddly charming style: he possessed an ethereal, almost otherworldly quality, coupled with flitting, birdlike gestures and flamboyantly theatrical mannerisms. We talked until the place closed, then headed down the road to the pizza joint and talked there until that closed. Then we went to his dorm room.

No; it didn’t go there. I think that in the three years I knew the man, our lips touched exactly twice, both fairly ceremonial and chaste kisses, given in the context of ritual. We never had a sexual relationship; our dynamic immediately shifted to that of sister and brother. You know of course, that I form such bonds fairly easily, right, little “nephew?” At least a half dozen people reading this as a post will have been told that I love them at least once, and I wasn’t lying. You know I love you, right? You remind me too much of myself for me not to love you. My heart is open; it’s both a blessing and a curse, and, yes, one of the hallmarks of the borderline personality. Do I still believe that he was a brother? I think that we resonated well together, in that time, at that place. During that night, we formed a bond based on a deep sense of purpose – we were going to save the world.

But it’s 1:32 my time, and in an hour and a half, I’ll be listening to the pre-game show, and first I want to finish watching the 2012 Dublin Offlines.

I will continue my letter soon – but what questions do you have for your Auntie Spike, so far?

00 online

Hi Perry –

It’s taken me a while to start this next bit. Every time I think to start, some other task immediately becomes much more urgent. Procrastination rears its ugly head and a week is gone.

The thing is, I’m really having a hard time because I just can’t put the experience into words without sounding like a total fleb. I keep starting to put my thoughts into order, to tell you about that first conversation. I remember that night vividly; it was a still, dead summer night, the humidity almost palpable, the motionless air hanging wet and sticky around us in a haze. Vivien didn’t believe in air conditioning, and so the coffee shop was just as hot as the outside, but I was inside in the shade, at my usual table, nursing my fifty-cent bottomless coffee and playing solitaire with my Tarot deck. The smell of the coffee and the doughnuts, the sounds of the traffic in the street, the particular angle of sunlight that afternoon – I can bring it all to my mind. But when I start on that conversation, I stall like a Pinto on a steep grade.

I know, academically, that anyone can fall into the trap of joining a cult. But when I remember the conversation and begin to put it in order in my mind, I cannot help but be amazed at how bizarre that first talk with Jack was. How can I describe what was said without you thinking “OMG, how could anyone believe that shit? Why didn’t you tell him to get lost? How could you actually buy into any of it? What the FUCK were you thinking?”

How could I have heard anything that he said to me and not known he was completely insane?

So my memory keeps throwing up roadblocks; interesting! I thought I’d purged pretty much all the emotion from this after a decade and a half. Yet I’m not feeling anything associated with the actual events, more of a frustration that although I can remember meeting in the coffeeshop, and I can remember how he looked, I can’t remember how the conversation got so, well, deep.

I remember how we chatted while the sun set, through the supper hour (neither of us ate, but I sipped at cup after cup of coffee; he drank only water), through the evening, until Vivien, wanting to go home, finally threw us out onto the street. It was still hot; “sultry” is the best word I could use to describe that evening, and yet I hesitate to use it because of the romantic implications of the word. This was no meeting of lovers, but a family reunion clouded by urgent business. Jack didn’t walk; he strode along the main commercial drag, with me in his wake, talking as loudly as if we were in daylight, with traffic and pedestrians surging around us, rather than in the still, humid, quiet night.

It was dead, the lack of any wind, even a breeze, an anomaly in the flat landscape of Northwest Ohio. Coincidence or Kali, a heat wave had settled into the Black Swamp (that’s what they call the region; I’m not making it up), and the KKK rally in Toledo had been in stifling 90-degree heat (low to mid thirties for our metric friends). The coffee shop closed at eleven, and Vivien always let the regulars stay late to eat the donuts rather than throw both the pastry and his friends out, so it was almost a quarter to midnight when he finally begged us to leave. As most of the students were on summer break, the clubs were closed and the street empty. We turned east onto the other main road in town, the one that goes from the small downtown area and stretches all the way to interstate 75, forming the southern boundary of the University, and separating it from the rows and rows of apartments let chiefly to students; the town’s main industry. Jack talked dramatically and wildly, as if his words were meant to fill the empty streets to make up for the lack of people.

I would find out later that he talked even louder when there were people around. You could always hear Jack.

For the life of me, Perry, I can’t remember the actual words he said. I do remember the intensity of it, and the gist of the information we exchanged, or rather, the information he exchanged. Believe it or not, I was barely able to get a word in edgewise.

Yes, you read that right, little nephew. Stop snickering. The man could talk like none other I’ve met, including me, and that’s saying something. But I’m stalling.

So what did we say?

Well, we established that, yes, he was a friend of Andrew, the LaVey scholar (actually, I think Andrew was a sociology major – Satanic Studies was not an available degree of studies at the University – though he claimed to be an expert in psychology, philosophy, and a Buddhist master). Apparently, they were doing studies (I think he called them “experiments” at first) in the true nature of reality, and I wanted in.

I’m gonna pause again to tell you that at the time I was fucking naive. I mean really, totally, completely green. Save the occasional Guinness, I didn’t drink, I didn’t smoke, and I certainly didn’t smoke weed or do drugs. I was a serious little student who had been jilted by her fiancé and wasn’t talking to her mother, and my life fucking sucked at that point, but still I had hope in humanity and a feeling that there was something more, something beyond this reality. I hadn’t discovered rational thinking yet, and so had no problem believing even the wildest things, the type of things that L. Ron himself would have shaken his head at and said, “nahh, too weird.”

Shit, there’s no way to tell this without stripping myself bare, eh? Spike Has Painted Herself Into A Corner. But there’s no way around it, my most intimate beliefs are an integral part of this story, as they helped shape the beliefs of our group, and so I have to tell all and damn the consequences.

Well, here goes: let’s rewind, oh, a coupla decades from then, back to 1972. You want a fun bio-fact, Perry? If your mother was alive back then (she’s about my age, right?), then the egg from which you grew was already around, waiting to be released, dormant in her prepubescent ovaries – whereas that “twinkle” in your father’s eye would not be manufactured in his body until roughly 72 hours before your conception… so why do folks think their spirit comes from the –

Yeah, I’m stalling again. So sue me. That’s what L.Ron would do. 😉

Anyway, when I was a kid, about five, I first felt the Presence. Who knows what it was; perhaps my amygdala- one of the neural structures identified with spiritual emotions and feelings – reached a critical point in its development. But I felt the presence of Divinity so strongly that I remember it distinctively. It wasn’t a voice, but it communicated anyway, and the message was clear:

It asked, Do You Want To Help?

I said, yes, of course, and asked what I could do.

I don’t remember how I knew, or what words my five-year old mind processed the overall impression into, but I knew that I was too young to receive full instructions; the Divinity merely wanted confirmation of my willingness to help. The message was, twofold, simply put: “you will gather people together; more to come, later.”

There followed an extremely spiritual childhood, completely devoid of any religious training whatsoever. My mother, a devout atheist, firmly believed that all organized religion was slavery, and that anything that cannot be measured, quantified, or proven did not exist– a view she holds to this day.

I, on the other hand, sang to the fairies and believed in unicorns, and every stick I picked up in the woods was a magic wand, every rock a precious talisman. I talked to animals – even the scaly and creepy crawly ones girls weren’t supposed to like.

And I talked to Divinity.

It never had form or gender to me. It’s always just been this deep, internal, almost visceral presence, communicating without words, speaking without being heard. But it’s always there – except for only a few months once (but that has nothing to do with this story); I have always sensed It within me, without me, and in every living thing, even in the rocks and the air and the water and the stars. I can’t describe it any better than that. It encompasses Everything.

And, from time to time, that Divinity has prodded me in certain ways, dropped bits of things into my head and then left them there to develop. During my childhood, with no one to hinder or guide my spirituality, I accreted my own unique little faith tradition, with a little bit of the Christianity and Judaism I heard from the kids at school, mixed with what I would later term paganism, but with a solid belief that there was something in all of these that had truth – but also that all these faiths just missed the mark of being an accurate picture of Ultimate Truth.

So, call it Spiksterology. There were a few odd beliefs –

Early on, I got a code name and a code rhythm, to be used to identify myself.

At the onset of puberty, I fell in love with Water, as personified in the Greek god Poseidon (cheez, it’s embarrassing as hell to type this…), even performing a marriage ritual dedicating myself to Him quite early on.

I believed (but this has been conclusively proven false, now that we’ve codified our genome), that blue eyes were a trait from fairies or elves, that I had lived for billions of years and originally came from a galaxy so distant that it was long dead. I believed that my first life as an individual being was as a temple mascot on a planet that had been destroyed by its own evil millennia ago. More recently, I had functioned as the angel of the Annunciation, and was some sort of spirit-cousin to the entity known on this planet as Jesus, but that Christianity had completely misinterpreted and twisted around his original message.

I was also part Fey, adopted by the Fair Folk as their drinking companion and erstwhile bard, that I had only a few times before lived on this planet but many, many times on others, and that wherever I landed I was usually a) male and b) a total bastard to the ladies, hence my current incarnation as a female. The only two other times I’d been on this planet in corporeal form (announcing Cousin Jesus’ birth didn’t count, apparently), I had been Spike Jones, the bandleader, and before that, an English nobleman who had raped a daughter and killed a son and then been drowned in the bathtub by his remaining son. I always had the sense that this lifetime, I would be a peripheral character in a great Spiritual Awakening; not a Great Leader myself, but definitely one of the trusted inner circle.

Yeah, read that over again. Completely bonkers, yeah, more than ripe pickin’s. That was my scrambled brain before the cult. Quite an active imagination our little girl has, eh? Well, I was able to impart the majority of that to Jack over the course of our first marathon chat, and it didn’t make him blink once. He had ideas that made me look sane… I was right, of course, that Christianity had it wrong; he knew, he happened to have been Judas, and Jesus ordered his friend to betray him, because he had to, it was a ritual sacrifice for their magick order – yeah, he used that spelling, you could hear the extraneous ‘k’ every time he said it. He told me why, according to numerology (only he called it ‘gamatria,’ the ancient Hebrew art of assigning numbers to letters – there’s tons of books written on the stuff, apparently). He had been Aleister Crowley’s Holy Guardian Angel (that is, his personal link to Divinity) – or was it his Beast? whatever it was, he claimed to have the old pervert captured in his Toth deck, which he kept in a box under his bed. It would, he claimed, “eat” any other deck he put near it; already a Golden Dawn Ritual and a Robin Wood deck had gone missing when stored near the box.

He also told me that he’d predicted he was going to meet me, and, he said, he’d already knew all about me before I’d told him a word, because we were true brother and sister, born from the same parents in a spirit realm, saying we had lived together in many universes, but mostly in the universe remembered and retold by the author Roger Zelazny, in his books called the Amber Chronicles. He said that many authors did this, and that what in this world we thought of as fiction was really the recalled lives from other realities, which was why so many fantasy and science fiction plots seemed to be so similar to each other (and I’d always attributed it to a lack of originality, silly me). He believed that we could find clues to our former lives, and our ‘orders’ for what to do in this lifetime, in these books, movies, TV shows, and even Nine Inch Nails songs, describing a concept we would later simply call, “mail.” Because of the Amber books, he had been waiting and knew to expect me.

“I’ve been looking for you. I knew you’d come to me, sister,” he told me.

Damn, how can a bright-eyed dreamer like little Karin Ann Gude refuse a line like that? (yeah, that was my maiden name, pronounced “GOO-dee;” is it any wonder, feminist that I am, I took my husband’s name? – the “Mrs.” I took because of the song, coo-coo-ker-tchoo)

Yeah. Stalling. Moving right along:

We established many things that night. Indeed, I was right that I was to be at the right hand of a Great Leader; Jack confided in me (if the verb “confided” can be used for a voice which carried down the empty street and rang off of the darkened store windows) that he was the Magnus of the Eon, the savior of this two thousand year cycle of history. We had planned this mission together, he and I, and now my task was to gather his followers – and sing the sacred song that would help him bring in the New Age, which would happen on St. John’s Day of 1999 (that’s why I was so skeptical when 2012 came along; I’d already lived through the end of the world). Sometime soon, before that date, there would be a great Cataclysm; billions would die and it would be our job to save who we could and pull them together to create a New World of Peace and Love.

To paraphrase the late Mr. Pratchett, don’t trust people who Speak in Capitals to describe their Vision for the World.

We crossed the railroad tracks and headed along the edge of campus. We agreed that we should probably have some supper; I found myself offering to buy it (a pattern which would be repeated almost without variation), and so we walked almost to the far end of campus, excitedly chatting, until we came to the pizza parlor between the laundromat and the mini-mart, located in a shabby strip mall. The location was terrible, but they had Guinness on tap and really good cheesy bread.

By the time our food had arrived, he had told me that yes, indeed, I was the True Wife of Poseidon, Queen of Atlantis, but also one of the characters in Zelazny’s series, which I had never read (nor have I to this date, nor do I have the least inclination to do so). The Lord of Atlantis’ incarnation was alive and would be joining us soon. We discussed our plans for the University of Magickal Sciences that I would open and just how we would run it; as a recently embittered graduate student and a failing theater student, you can imagine we had quite a few views on how an institution of learning really should be run! This conversation took us to closing time at the pizza parlor.

It hadn’t cooled down any outside; it was literally the dead of night: hot, oppressive, the leaves barely whispering in the trees, the yellow-orange streetlamps bathing the empty street in a sickly glow. We crossed the street to his dorm, him still declaiming loudly as we traded memories of past lives, finding so many of them too similar for our fevered imaginations to believe it was coincidence. I was surprised to find he was an undergraduate; his grandiose claims earlier in the evening led me to believe he taught classes at the university and was some sort of teaching assistant. In fact his “classes” consisted of him reading poetry at people, and later, on the university bulletin boards that would eventually meld with others like it to create the world wide web and then the internet, but I would only find that out later, of course. By this time, Jack had convinced me that he was nothing short of a wunderkind.

Once we got to his room, I discovered that his roommate had moved out mid-semester; I never knew why, but suspect that the tribulations of living in the same small dorm room as Jack might have had something to do with his decision. The room was a freakish mix of early goth and prep (although he never seemed to have any cash himself (or, at least, I rarely saw him spend any), his family was in fact quite wealthy). The term “emo” had not been born yet, but that would perfectly describe him. Remember, this is before very many people had a PC – for most of us, our only computer access was the Macintosh II’s for the electronic music program, and the Engineering School had whatever the IBM crowd was putting out at the time. Everybody else – including the theater department – had absolutely no need for computers, so Jack wrote everything out by hand.

Seriously – college before the internet, just as the digital age had barely begun: welcome to the early 90’s. Yes, we had digital recorders, but they were expensive and still full of all sorts of problems that plague any new technology for its first decade. The weekly “What’s on at the McCauley Concert Center” tape I made as part of my duties as Concert Office Rat – the one that you would hear if you called up the Box Office during off-hours – was an actual tape, a cassette that sometimes I would have to take out of the machine and tighten with a pencil (the ridges on your standard Dixon Ticonderoga no. 2 were perfect for this task).

So Jack had his “works” in notebooks. “This is what will become the Famous Black Notebook,” he announced solemnly, drawing a battered and dogeared black spiral-ring out of his backpack. He showed me diagrams and charts, and told me that I was, in fact, the person who had helped Merlin (or the spirit that would become Merlin) develop the system of Tarot, long ago, in Atlantis. I forget whether he told me his tale of Jack the Fool (that’s why I chose ‘Jack’ for his pseudonym) in the coffee shop, or the pizza parlor, or in his room.

Whenever he told it to me, it’s essentially the tale of the soul as it travels through the 22 mystical levels as pictured in the Major Arcana of the Tarot. I might, if asked nicely, be able to write up a reasonable facsimile of the ‘official’ version which I would later use to each possible recruit.

I am known for being quick on the uptake; I learn tasks amazingly fast and can absorb information and disseminate it easily. It’s something I’ve been taught to do from a very early age. After about a decade of owning a Tarot deck and even flipping through the little booklet but never garnering anything but the vaguest notion of its meanings, I suddenly was able, due to Jack’s description of how the cards worked, to absorb the information in a stunningly short time.

I learned how to read Tarot in less than a week.

That sounds like bragging, but it’s not… I’m not saying that there wasn’t some pauses, a few patches of fogginess on the exact shades of difference between certain cards in that first month, but the structure had been installed as neatly as today you’d install a new operating system into your pc.

It was easily four in the morning when I realized I would have to be at work in less than five hours. As we bade each other fond farewell, he reminded me that I was no less than his Sacred Bard, the Musician who would be famous for Eternity as the Voice who had Sung in the New Age for him, the Magnus of the Eon. Because, he said with a rare laugh, he had been given such magickal talent, he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. It was a trade-off he was willing to accept. I told him I was honored to be in the orchestra pit of one of the greatest events in human history, and we parted for the night.

As I drove home that night, I began to sing a song, with strange words, words that my imagination told me were from an ancient language. The tune was simple, the type that is easily harmonized, and as I drove home in the silent, hot night, I rolled down the windows and took the one curving rode in the county home, singing the new song, the song that I now knew would create the world I had always dreamed of.

Well, it’s half past midnight. I just finished watching “Going Clear” – thank you so much for that link! I must admit that when I found out that it wasn’t on the actual HBO, I freaked a little: I’m running on about eight hours sleep over the last three days, but now I think I might be able to rest. However, my mind is filled not with my own story, but of those whose stories I watched tonight. In a much later chapter, I’ll be telling you about how I first saw Mike Rinder and recognized him as a fellow prisoner, how, when I escaped, the only people who understood what I had gone through were the good folks on the anti-Scientology message boards, and how I gradually came to myself again, met my darling Wally, got married, and “settled down.”

Yeah, settled down. That’ll be the day, eh, little nephew? 😉

But next time, I’ll tell you about how Jack took me on “The Grand Tour – ” yeah, Hubbard stole that phrase from Parsons, who stole it from Crowley, who stole it from… you get the idea. It’s simply the standard first exercise that a teacher of Astral Travel will lead the student through, a garden variety guided meditation of the solar system, dropping in on various “lodges” where certain divinities live, wherein student and teacher interact with various realities.

Jack called it simply, “101.”

I’m gonna leave off here.

You didn’t have any questions last time… I hope I’ve sparked some this time.


Your Auntie Spike

* names have been changed, partly for legal reasons, or sometimes because I just can’t remember the names. Or the tiny details. Let’s be up front about this from the start: memory is a tricky thing, Perry, m’boy. What I’m giving you here, is the best recollection this middle-aged brain can reconstruct – a few dates will be fudged, some events blurred or jumbled in order, and of course, the quotes will never be exact. But the essence, the feelings, the actual – vibe – of the moment will remain crystallized in my memory as long as I live.

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